Last updated: August 7, 2021

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Welcome to our big Ceylon cinnamon test 2021. Here we present all the varieties of Ceylon cinnamon that we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best Ceylon cinnamon for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should be aware of if you want to buy Ceylon cinnamon.




The most important facts

  • Ceylon cinnamon is considered the highest quality variety of cinnamon and stands out from cheaper varieties in taste and health benefits.
  • Its active ingredient is anti-inflammatory, relieves digestive problems, helps with weight loss and can lower blood sugar levels in diabetics.
  • To refine dishes, Ceylon cinnamon can be used in the form of cinnamon sticks or ground cinnamon. In addition to sweet pastries and desserts, it can also add a mild flavour to savoury dishes.

The best ceylon cinnamon: Our picks

Advice: Questions you should ask yourself before buying Ceylon cinnamon

What is Ceylon cinnamon and how does it differ from Cassia cinnamon?

Ceylon cinnamon, also called "true cinnamon" or Cinnamonum verum, is considered the highest quality cinnamon in the world.

The Ceylon cinnamon tree was originally only found in Ceylon, now Sri Lanka, but is now also grown in tropical regions of the world, such as parts of Asia, Madagascar, the Caribbean islands and the Seychelles.

Zimtstangen und -pulver

Characteristic of Ceylon cinnamon sticks is the very fine structure of the rolled-up bark. Ground cinnamon, on the other hand, does not differ externally from Cassia cinnamon. (Image source:123rf.com / 74655266)

The two varieties of cinnamon best known and most commonly used in Europe are Ceylon cinnamon and Cassia cinnamon. Indonesian cinnamon and Vietnamese cinnamon, which is especially popular in East Asia, are also popular and widely used.

It is difficult to distinguish cinnamon in its typical form - processed into powder - in terms of colour and consistency; you can only recognise the variety by its taste and smell. It is also common in the industrial trade to mix the different varieties. You will only find pure Ceylon cinnamon in the supermarket if you explicitly look for it.

Cinnamonum verum is known for its extremely fine, noble and aromatic taste, which subtly adds a slightly sweet note to various dishes.

In contrast, the other three types of cinnamon provide a much harsher, somewhat pungent and possibly bitter flavour, which is why Ceylon cinnamon is very much appreciated by gourmets.

However, you can notice clear differences in appearance if you compare "real cinnamon" in stick form with the other varieties.

While the bark of the Ceylon cinnamon tree is rolled up into a fine, multi-layered tube, a Cassia cinnamon stick consists only of a thick border and is hollow in the middle.

In the following, the explanations on the health effects and the ingredients refer to Ceylon cinnamon in ground form and sticks.

What are the positive health effects of Ceylon cinnamon?

Ceylon cinnamon has been said to have a healing effect on the human body since ancient times. Its active ingredient has a positive influence on digestion and is generally considered to have laxative, diuretic and anti-inflammatory properties.

Cinnamon is a popular household remedy for a variety of ailments such as flatulence, nausea, diarrhoea and colds. It also stimulates blood circulation and reduces inflammation in people suffering from osteoarthritis.

The oil of the cinnamon bark also stimulates the metabolism and fat burning and lowers blood sugar, blood fat levels and cholesterol, at least in the short term. Therefore, healthy cinnamon in small doses is also recommended for weight loss.

The serotonin in cinnamon also makes you feel happier and makes it easier to stick to a strict diet.

However, whether Ceylon cinnamon can be an effective long-term remedy for diabetes patients is a matter of controversial debate in the medical community.

The ability of cinnamon to intensify glucose metabolism by stimulating insulin and thus effectively reduce blood sugar levels is not yet sufficiently proven.

Nutritionists see a particularly positive effect if you take a little Ceylon cinnamon daily in combination with honey. In addition to the effects mentioned above, you will feel less exhausted and revitalise your organism.

Ceylon cinnamon helps the human organism with digestion, colds and inflammations as well as with weight loss. However, a curative effect on diabetes has not been sufficiently proven.

Who is Ceylon cinnamon suitable for and who is it not suitable for?

Cinnamon is known to contain the plant substance coumarin, which is harmful in larger doses and can cause headaches and liver damage in humans. Experts also consider an increased risk of cancer, but so far this has only been proven in rats.

In people with a pollen allergy, it is also possible that the toxic effect of coumarin causes an allergic reaction.

Babies and small children as well as pregnant women and mothers who are breastfeeding are primarily considered a risk group that should carefully avoid regular consumption of cinnamon.

On the one hand, large amounts of cinnamon can have a labour-inducing effect in the last weeks of pregnancy; on the other hand, mothers should avoid too much coumarin for the sake of their foetus or newborn.

However, since the coumarin content of cinnamon differs greatly depending on the variety, even the endangered groups mentioned above can use pure, high-quality Ceylon cinnamon, since it contains only 0.02 grams per kilogram of cinnamon.

Cassia cinnamon, on the other hand, contains 150 times as much, and Indonesian and Vietnamese cinnamon can even contain up to 450 times as much coumarin.

How much Ceylon cinnamon can you eat per day?

Especially because of the coumarin content in cinnamon, you should be careful not to consume too much cinnamon, even if you do not belong to the risk group.

In Germany, coumarin may not be added as an additive by law according to the Flavouring Ordinance and may not exceed a maximum value of 50mg/kg even in traditionally cinnamon-rich baked goods such as Christmas biscuits.

At the same time, the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment specifies a maximum tolerable daily dose of 0.1mg coumarin per kilogram of body weight. Therefore, an adult with a body weight of 70 kg could consume 140 grams of cinnamon stars of the highest permissible coumarin load, which corresponds to about 20 stars in absolute terms.

For a toddler with a weight of 15kg or for a baby with a weight of 7kg, 4 and 2 cinnamon stars respectively would then already become the maximum safe amount daily.

type coumarin content maximum dose per day at 70kg body weight
Ceylon cinnamon 0.02g per kg 350g
Cassia cinnamon approx. 3g per kg 2.3g
Indonesian/Vietnamese up to 9g per kg 0.8g
baked goods with maximum value 0.05g per kg 140 g

When using the table, it should be noted that the daily maximum dose, especially for Ceylon cinnamon, is a theoretically consumable value. On the one hand, it may be that the cinnamon has been mixed with other varieties and therefore receives a higher coumarin content.

On the other hand, coumarin is also present in other foods such as woodruff, as well as some cosmetics, through which coumarin also enters the body.

Furthermore, there are different indications on the coumarin content of the different varieties. Furthermore, it might be safe to consume 350g of Ceylon cinnamon in terms of coumarin, but experts rather recommend an amount of 2g of Ceylon cinnamon for the healthy nutritional balance of an adult.

Did you know that eating just one gram of cinnamon per day has a positive effect on your body?

A study in America found that a steady intake of this amount of cinnamon lowers blood sugar levels by around 30%.

The coumarin only has a really dangerous effect on your health if you repeatedly exceed the recommended dose over a longer period of time.

What special ingredients does Ceylon cinnamon contain and what are its nutritional values?

Cinnamon is mainly characterised by essential oils, the main component of which is cinnamaldehyde, which is responsible for the special aroma of this spice. In addition, the liquid eugenol and coumarin stand out among the ingredients.

100g of ground Ceylon cinnamon from Kania have the following nutritional values:

Nutrient Value
Energy (kcal) 282 kcal
Protein 4g
Carbohydrates
- of which sugar
57.7g
- 43.5g
Fat 3.3g
Dietary fibre 24.4g
Water content 20%

It is striking that pure Ceylon cinnamon contains fewer calories compared to other spices, despite its considerable sugar content. In addition, the high fibre content makes the stomach feel fuller more quickly, which again speaks in favour of cinnamon as part of a diet.

What can Ceylon cinnamon be used for?

You will certainly remember cinnamon first and foremost as the dominant spice of the annual Christmas season, which adds a noble note to biscuits, cakes, punch, tea and other delicacies.

However, cinnamon can also be used in a wide variety of other dishes. Especially in Asian cuisine, cinnamon also plays an important role in seasoning savoury or spicy dishes such as meat dishes.

The possibilities for using cinnamon depend on whether you have Ceylon cinnamon ground or as a stick.

Cinnamon sticks are preferably used in drinks such as tea or liquid dishes such as jams, while powder can be used in a variety of ways, but is most effective in desserts.

What alternatives are there to seasoning with cinnamon?

To imitate the spiciness of Ceylon cinnamon, many advise a combination of allspice (Jamaica pepper) and nutmeg.

A mixture of cardamom and aniseed is also said to produce a comparable aroma, but due to its sweet but at the same time noble and mild taste, "real cinnamon" in particular cannot be replaced 1:1.

Cinnamon itself is often mentioned as a possible alternative to sugar to sweeten dishes and make them more aromatic.

How much does Ceylon cinnamon cost?

How much money you have to spend to satisfy your personal need for Ceylon cinnamon essentially depends on two factors, namely the purity and quality as well as your preferred product form.

Since "real cinnamon" is significantly more expensive than cassia cinnamon, even in powder form, you will have to pay between €4 and €8 per 100g for pure, high-quality Ceylon cinnamon.

Product form Price per 100g
pure Ceylon cinnamon 4€-8,50€
cinnamon sticks 10-15€

If you prefer Ceylon cinnamon enriched with cassia and other varieties and do not want to buy organic quality, you can find it for as little as 2€/100g (prices for smaller quantities of up to 150g).

What is the shelf life of Ceylon cinnamon?

Whereas uncrushed spices like cinnamon sticks have a shelf life of up to 4 years, ground Ceylon cinnamon is much more perishable. Online shops promise a minimum shelf life of 2 years.

Zimtstangen neben Tasse Milch mit Zimtpulver

Cinnamon is not only used for baking, but is also a popular ingredient in teas, coffee or other drinks. The sticks have a relatively long shelf life, but cinnamon powder loses its intense flavour relatively quickly. (Image source: 123rf.com / 110428857)

The powder loses its spiciness after a few months, especially after it has been opened for the first time, and its taste and smell become less aromatic. You should therefore buy your Ceylon cinnamon in smaller doses.

If you handle your cinnamon sticks carefully, you can use them up to 100 times without losing the flavour. Therefore, it is best to store the cinnamon in an airtight and dark place. It is best to use the cinnamon only at the very end and then store it again quickly.

(Source: bild.de)

Decision: What types of Ceylon cinnamon are there and which is right for you?

If you want to buy Ceylon cinnamon to refine dishes, there are two varieties you can choose between:

  • Ceylon cinnamon powder
  • Ceylon cinnamon sticks

Both product forms have certain advantages and disadvantages that set one apart from the other. Depending on what you particularly value, a different type is most suitable for you.

Ceylon cinnamon powder

Ground cinnamon is the most common in Europe and has many uses. Most people have it on hand at home, so recipe suggestions are usually tailored to cinnamon powder rather than one of the other forms.

Advantages
  • Easy and cheap to buy
  • Combines easily in spice blends and can be stretched
  • Quantities in recipes are designed for ground cinnamon
Disadvantages
  • High quality can no longer be tasted
  • Loses its natural aroma relatively quickly
  • Ceylon cinnamon may have been mixed with other types of cinnamon

Ceylon cinnamon sticks

Cinnamon sticks are the most expensive of the three cinnamon products that can be used to refine dishes. However, the cinnamon aldehyde in the sticks only loses its power very slowly, so they remain long-lasting and edible.

Advantages
  • Long shelf life
  • Tastes and smells more aromatic than powder
  • Can be used either freshly broken off or as a whole stick
Disadvantages
  • More expensive than other product forms
  • Can't be used in quite as many ways

Ceylon cinnamon, freshly broken off the cinnamon stick during cooking, gives off a smell and provides a flavour that imported ground cinnamon cannot match.

Buying criteria: You can use these criteria to compare and evaluate Ceylon cinnamon

In the following, we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between the different Ceylon cinnamon products.

The criteria that you can use to compare Ceylon cinnamon products with each other include:

  • Origin
  • Ekelle grade
  • Packaging size
  • Coumarin content
  • Organic label

Below you can read what each criterion is about and find out why it makes sense for you to buy a product based on the criteria or not.

Origin

Although Ceylon cinnamon is no longer grown only in Sri Lanka, the origin of the product still plays an important role for many cinnamon lovers. On the one hand, the cinnamon tree finds its ancestral climatic conditions here to develop in the best possible way.

On the other hand, Ceylon cinnamon is a scarce and expensive commodity worldwide, which is why 100% pure Ceylon cinnamon originating in Sri Lanka holds a certain prestige for true enthusiasts.

Ekelle grade

To determine the quality of cinnamon, a separate measure of value has been introduced. In the unit Ekelle, testers determine how well the freshly harvested cinnamon stick ranks on the scale - starting at 00000, and going up to V.

First, a 0 is subtracted from each level, and then it goes on from 0 via I to V.

Cinnamon that is mostly imported to Europe is on the lowest quality level and is also called "Hamburg" quality. When ground, however, the taste of an Ekelle 00000 product no longer differs from quality "Hamburg" cinnamon.

Packaging size

As already described in the section on shelf life, ground Ceylon cinnamon in particular decreases in quality the longer it is stored. But even cinnamon sticks cannot be stored for ever, as the spices are traded in small quantities of around 25g up to 1kg packages.

It is therefore best to think about what you will use the cinnamon for and how often you will use it in the kitchen before buying, in order to determine the optimal package size for you, rather than just being tempted by quantity discounts.

In particular, you should not buy ground Ceylon cinnamon in too large quantities, as the flavouring quickly loses its strength.

Coumarin content

Because of the health effects of cinnamon described in the guide, many people pay special attention to the coumarin content of their product when buying it.

Since Ceylon cinnamon contains the least coumarin of the commercially available cinnamon varieties, risk groups in particular pay attention to the fact that their cinnamon consists of 100% pure Ceylon cinnamon.

Organic label

Many of the high quality suppliers carry organic certified Ceylon cinnamon items. These are very popular among the buyer group.

People who are consciously looking for original, 100% pure Ceylon cinnamon place so much value on impeccable quality that they are willing to pay an extra 1-2€/100g. A Fairtrade label or products marked as vegan also increase the willingness to buy.

Trivia: Interesting facts about Ceylon cinnamon

What other product forms are there?

In addition to the powder and stick forms already mentioned, capsules, tablets and essential oils of the Ceylon cinnamon tree are also available in stores.

Capsules and tablets made from Ceylon cinnamon extract, which is produced from the bark of the cinnamon tree, are widely used food supplements. They are used for their healing properties and for weight loss. However, because of the side effects mentioned, you should only take them after consulting a doctor.

Cinnamon oil, which comes either from the waste products of the bark or from the leaves of the plant, depending on the type of product, is mainly used in perfumery and for liqueur production.

How is Ceylon cinnamon grown and harvested?

Cinnamonum verum is obtained from the bark and leaves of the evergreen, tropical Ceylon cinnamon tree. In industrial cultivation, the plants only grow to a maximum of three metres tall, but could reach a height of up to 18 metres without regular pruning.

Harvesting takes place every two to three years. First, the outer bark of the branch is removed to get to the inner bark. This is rolled directly into the typical sticks and then laid to dry and treated.

In the production of cinnamon oil, the bark or the leaves are distilled with steam. The rule of thumb is that 200kg of bark produces 1kg of oil.

Can you grow Ceylon cinnamon yourself?

Yes, you can grow your own small Ceylon cinnamon plant in a pot from cinnamon seeds even in European regions. However, you should be aware that the plant is used to a completely different climate zone and therefore needs a lot of care and attention to survive.

In the tropics, humidity is around 80% and temperatures are usually above 25°C all year round. The amount of rainfall is about three times as high as in Central Europe.

The bathroom is therefore the most suitable place for the plant in the house. The plant should be placed near a window to get enough sunlight.

You should also water your plant regularly. It is very important that the water can drain through a hole in the bottom of the pot to prevent waterlogging.

It is also advisable to place the plant in a mini-greenhouse (a transparent freezer bag placed over the pot is also sufficient) so that the plant is always warm and moist.

But even with the best possible care, you cannot be sure that you will actually be able to harvest your own Ceylon cinnamon. For one thing, the plant needs at least three years after sowing to mature.

Secondly, the bark needs to be very soft, moist and flexible to be able to remove it, otherwise the plant will have a hard time surviving in the long run.

Humidity, temperatures, water supply, sunlight exposure and water drainage are the most important aspects to adjust for your cinnamon plant.

Why is Ceylon cinnamon called the "real cinnamon"?

Ceylon cinnamon originating in Sri Lanka is commonly called the "true cinnamon", while Cassia, Indonesian and Vietnamese cinnamon are bundled under the name wood cinnamon. These are considered adulterations of the original cinnamon, although Cassia cinnamon has probably been used in China for a good 3000 years.

The name "real cinnamon" has probably also become accepted because of the nobler taste and the amazing mildness of Ceylon cinnamon.

Picture source: 123rf.com / 70020933

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